Claude Debussy (1862-1918)

Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, Vc (1863)
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Although French composer Debussy strongly opposed using the term "impressionism" to describe his music, it cannot be denied that both Debussy and Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) had profound influence on the development of the impressionistic style in the early 20th century. Rêverie was composed around the year 1890. The annotation "très doux et express" in the beginning of the piece clearly sets the mood of the piece. The stable rhythm and broken chords in the accompaniment create an enigmatic, melancholic background, which brings out the gentle, lyrical melody. The piece ends in a similar manner. During the transition section before the recapitulation, various keys are interwoven; the chord progressions and the trill-like effects in the accompaniment also enrich the musical content. The cello used in this recording was made by French luthier Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume (1798-1875) in 1863. The warm, lustrous quality of the cello and the elegant accompaniment of the piano enhance the enigmatic aura of the piece.